'What's happening?' Palace asks Philhealth over 'debt' to private hospital

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 11 2021 03:44 PM

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Malacañang on Monday questioned state medical insurer PhilHealth over its alleged failure to settle its debt to a private hospital.

The Medical City was quoted as saying that PhilHealth still owed it around P1 billion as of December 2020.

"With this information, it gives me now the right to ask President (Dante) Gierran of PhilHealth: What’s happening to the payables of the private hospitals?" Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said. 

Private hospitals account for 60 percent of the national health system's total bed capacity, he said. 

"And of course, kung hindi magbabayad (if they are not paid), we’re endangering public health and thereby endangering national security," Roque told reporters in an online briefing. 

PhilHealth has also incurred a multimillion-peso debt to the Philippine Red Cross over its tests for the novel coronavirus. 

Last year, officials of the state insurer fought allegations of pocketing P15 billion, approving overpriced projects, and releasing funds to supposedly favored hospitals.

Asked if the PhilHealth could have helped in the COVID-19 vaccination drive had it not been allegedly corrupt, Roque said, "‘Wag na tayong mag-speculate."

(Let us not speculate.)

Watch part of the briefing here.